NEWBERG, Ore. – George Fox University took advantage of one big inning in each game to sweep visiting Whitworth 5-1 and 11-3 in a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader on Friday afternoon at Morse Field.
The 15th-ranked Bruins improved to 18-7 overall and 11-3 in the NWC while the Pirates dropped to 9-14-1 overall and 4-7 in the conference while seeing their losing streak extended to six in a row. The teams will complete the three-game series with a single contest on Saturday.
Game 1 – George Fox 5, Whitworth 1
The Bruins broke through with four runs on five hits in the third inning to defeat the Pirates and starting pitcher Dan Scheibe.
Scheibe went the distance on the mound for Whitworth, and other than that bad inning in the third, he shut down George Fox. Scheibe dropped to 2-3 after allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits with nine strikeouts and two walks.
Meanwhile GFU ace Clay Gartner limited Whitworth to a single run on six hits. He struck out two and walked one while improving to 5-0 this season.
The Pirates scored their only run in the top of the first when Nick Motsinger reached on a bad-hop single and was sacrificed to second. Tyler Pfeffer singled him home to give Whitworth a short-lived lead.
The Bruins tied the game in the second with an unearned run, then broke through with four in the third. GFU loaded the bases and had already scored a run when it looked like Scheibe might get out of the inning with limited damage. But Zach Hegelmeyer drove a three-run double down the left field line with two outs to break the game open.
No Pirate had more than one hit and Pfeffer finished 1-2 with his team-leading 25th RBI. Derek Dixon went 2-4 and a run scored for GFU.
Game 2 – George Fox 11, Whitworth 3
Most of the Bruins' damage was done in a seven-run fifth inning and Ian Buckles picked up a win on the mound with 4.1 innings of one-hit relief, giving GFU a sweep of the doubleheader.
Erik Nikssarian's sacrifice fly tied the game 1-1 in the second inning and Whitworth got within 4-2 with two outs in the fifth inning, driving GFU starter Connor Harris from the game. Gerhard Muelheims had the RBI in the fifth.
But the Bruins broke the game open with their big rally in the bottom of the fifth. Kadyn Nannini had a two-run single and Jared Chase added an RBI single to make the score 7-2 and knock out Whitworth starting pitcher Carson Blumenthal. Dixon would close the inning with a two-run homer off of Jason Renner, lifting the Bruins to an 11-2 lead.
Whitworth got its final run in the seventh on Muelheims' second RBI single of the game.
Blumenthal dropped to 3-2 after allowing seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in 4.0 official innings. Renner gave up four runs on four hits in 0.2 innings. Danny Jordan tossed the final 3.1 innings and did not allow a run and only gave up two hits.
Dixon again led GFU at the plate, going 3-4 with two RBIs. Nannini went 2-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Muelheims was 2-4 with two RBIs for the Pirates.